One of the most highly anticipated restaurant projects of 2014, The Chalk Point Kitchen, is set to open its doors in the coming days in the...

One of the most highly anticipated restaurant projects of 2014, The Chalk Point Kitchen, is set to open its doors in the coming days in the old Dollaway space at 527 Broome Street in SoHo. The new project is a collaboration between Michelin-starred Chef Joe Isidori, and restaurateur Matt Levine. 

Chef Joe Isidori received his first Michelin Star working at Donald Trump's DJT in 2008, as well as being named Las Vegas Rising Star Chef, and he has even battled against Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America. Isidori has manned the kitchens at Harbour in New York City, then opened SouthFork Kitchen in the Hamptons which focused on sustainable seafood and local produce from Long Island purveyors. Also in the kitchen will be Blue Hill and Mas farmhouse alum Chef Freddy Schoen-Kiewart handling things as Chef de Cuisine. Matt Levine, once a New York City nightlife mogul switched his hat to restaurateur in 2011 with the opening of Sons Of Essex. 

The 70 seat, Chien Dao designed space brings rustic farm house comfort from the white washed wood walls, and mixes it with a downtown vibe from the Basquiat renditions painted on the kitchen ceiling.  The Chalk Point Kitchen will focus on local New York State purveyors including Battenkill Valley Creamery, Statur Farms, Blue Marble Ice Cream, New York City local Grand Daisy Bakery, The Lobster Place, and more. The menu concept will be market-to-table, with inspiration coming from New York City's ethnic neighborhoods and the markets that surround it. Think Chinatown meets Union Square Market. 

Located directly below The Chalk Point Kitchen will be a vintage cocktail den and piano bar called The Handy Liquor Bar, named after Thomas Handy, the first known expert barmen in the US. The bar will be serving up vintage cocktails like Manhattans, Mint Juleps, and the Sazerac cocktail, which is said to America's first cocktail recipe to be recorded. The walls of the 150 seat space are decorated with original photographs by famed rock photographer Bob Gruen, alongside a baby grand piano and vintage jukebox. 

Here's a sneak peek at some of the dishes coming out of the Chalk Point Kitchen.  

Hudson Valley pan-chicken: House gravy and Chinese greens 
Chef Joe Isidori and Chef Freddy Schoen-Kiewart
Garden Beet Salad: Hudson Valley blue cheese, pistachio & organic buttermilk-dill
dinning room
La Quercia Farm Speck Americano: Age parmagiano, apple, lemon, sesame. 

Chalk Point Chowder: Local clams with market vegetables.

Rhode Island Mussels: Kimchi and house smoked bacon

Icelandic Artic Char: White miso and ruby red grapefruit 

Caramel Pudding: Vanilla ice cream popcorn & crisp 
The Full Menu

The Chalk Point Kitchen Opens April 2nd. 

The Chalk Point Kitchen 
527 Broome Street, NY 10013

My love for Chinatown stems from my father. He always said that Chinatown reminds him of Brighton Beach, except everyone was ...

My love for Chinatown stems from my father. He always said that Chinatown reminds him of Brighton Beach, except everyone was Chinese. When my parents needed a break from the Brighton Beach bullshit, they would pack my grandmother, brother, and I into the car and head over to Chinatown. We would spend the day walking from store to store looking for the cheapest fish and meat. Then from restaurant menu to restaurant menu looking for the weirdest and cheapest food my father could find. 

As I got older I kept finding myself in Chinatown. On a random summer days, my friend and I would skip the beach and go roam the streets of Manhattan. The first stop was always Chinatown. We would stop off for pork buns and sticky rice buns, then hit up Soho Down Under - a graffiti shop located on West Broadway for five-finger caps, and the possibility of catching ups in another graffiti writers blackbook. 

My love for Chinatown is deep, my love for the food in Chinatown is deeper. Here are 8 spots, old and new that I love eating at. 

Lam Zhou: A hand pulled noodle and dumpling place located on the outskirts of Chinatown. My friend Jeff, an OG resident of Chinatown had put me on to the place. When I asked Jeff what makes Lam Zhou dumplings better than anyone else, he said "just straight up love," and that's exactly what these dumplings were. For $2 you can get an order of 8. Don't forget to grab some to-go, 50 frozen dumplings are $8. The hand pulled noodles are dense, chewy, stretched and pounded right in front of you, and served in a broth filled with sliced brisket, the best $5.50 you'll ever spend 
144 East Broadway

Nom Wah Tea Parlor: The oldest dim sum parlor in Chinatown has serving up dim sum since the early 1920's. I love Nom Wah because they serve dim sum all day, everyday, 7 days a week. It's a great spot to get your dim sum fix on a rainy Wednesday night. Go with the shrimp with rice noodles, the sticky rice with Chinese sausage and the OG egg roll is a must! 

13 Doyer Street

69 Bayard: While all the food amateurs roll over to Wo Hop after a late night of drinking, make your way over to 69 Bayard. Open til 4am, you can get whiteboy dishes like Shrimp with Lobster Sauce and General Tso's Chicken, if you want something a little more authentic order the Snails in Black Bean Sauce. By the way, if you don't order their Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings, you will have lived an empty life. I am forever eternal 
69 Bayard Street 

M Star Cafe: Another spot my friend Jeff put me on to.  One of the most flavorful congees I've tasted in a while, with a perfect century egg at the bottom. The Pan Fried Rice Noodles topped with peanut sauce and hoisin will add 10 more years to your life. 
19 Division Street 

Great NY Noodletown: You aren't really a New Yorker unless you eat here regularly. Serving up a full menu of great dishes, go for their Chinatown style soups. I get mine with the shrimp dumplings & roast pork.
28 Bowery

Canal Best Restaurant:  When I was younger this was always our first stop to grab some pork, and sticky rice buns.  I've been grabbing dim sum from the counter at this place since the mid 90's but never sat down to actually have a meal here. To be continued...
266 Canal Street 

Xi'an Famous Foods: I can't begin to tell you how happy I was to hear that I would no longer have to trek to Flushing to grab some spicy stewed pork noodles and spicy cucumber salad. With a small cramped location expect long lines. Order anything off the menu, you won't go wrong. 
67 Bayard

Young Xinjiang BBQ Cart: The skewer lady a.k.a my boo. A roach coach located under the Manhattan bridge. I tend to stop at this cart mostly in the summer, as it located right off the bike lane exit off the Manhattan bridge. After riding my bicycle from Coney Island, I need some quick "energy." Varying from Chicken Skewers to fish ball Skewers, this will be the cheapest quick snack you'll ever come across in Manhattan. 
Forsyth Street - Under the Manhattan Bridge 

For the past few nights I've been having a hard time trying to fall asleep. It wasn't related to the usual worries such as work,...

For the past few nights I've been having a hard time trying to fall asleep. It wasn't related to the usual worries such as work, money or relationships. Nope, my sleepless nights have been due to my meal at Contra. Night after night, I've been trying to figure out the words to put together to attempt to explain how ridiculous the meal was. 

Let me start with Contra's menu. It's pretty simple, this is what we're making, it's 5 courses, it cost $55 and if you don't like it, eat dry white dog shit. We also have a pretty decent cocktail menu with drinks costing around $12 and they don't have any stupid fucking names like the "Bowery Blood Orangina" or the "Canal Street Dirty Water Dog." 

I had to eat at the ungodly hour of 7pm which was a nice change from the loudness you usually get later in the night. I was seated towards the back with a great view of an open kitchen which seemed more like a zen dojo. No clacking pans, no yelling "fire blah blah blah all day long" bullshit you usually hear out of an open kitchen. The menu for the day was laid out on the table and here's what I got. 

First Course: Scallop, kohlbari, celery: I fucking hate celery. I wouldn't eat celery if it was deep fried in chocolate sauce and served off of Beyonce's ass. I manned up and ate it and loved every minute of it. The scallop was tender, tons of flavor and a nice balance of acidity, every few bites I was getting a mix of sweet pear which made this dish hit every note in my palate. My favorite dish of the night.

Second Course: Monk fish, onion, spigarello. When the plate hit my table it was so beautiful, I wasn't sure if I should eat it or have it hanging in my den. The monk fish was perfectly cooked with a nice smokey char flavor. The spigarello was crisp, along with the bulbs of an onion filled with a foam that I couldn't quite figure out the flavor of. 

Third Course: Chicken boudin, turnip with a smear of blood sausage on the side. A tender piece of chicken breast with a perfectly crispy skin topped with maybe the most perfect tasting pickled turnips I've ever had. 
Fourth Course: Tangerine, popcorn. Out of the five dishes this one was my least favorite. I really couldn't make the connection between the popcorn and tangerine. 
Fifth course: Hazelnut ganache, topped with yoghurt sprinkled with beet powder. It was layer after layer of flavor. I am not big on desserts but eating this was like eating an orgasm while driving a Buggati. 

The tasting menu game is heating up in NYC and with a fuck ton of options, I put Contra at the top of my list. Yes the portions were small and if you break down the math you're averaging $11 a dish - but what's a few dollars when it comes to great food? 

138 Orchard street,New York, NY 10002 

For the first time since 1962 years the NFL championship game has come to the New York/New Jersey area. New York is a huge football city d...

For the first time since 1962 years the NFL championship game has come to the New York/New Jersey area. New York is a huge football city due to its large volume of transplants from other states. One way New York has celebrated the coming of the Super Bowl was with the 50 Yard Lounge, which ran from January 29th - February 2nd at 1 Penn Plaza. The events boasted appearances from legendary retired NFL players like Doug Flutie, Cris Carter, and Matt Light, just to name a few. Live performances and DJs filled sounds through 15,000 square feet of heated tent located on the street and on roof decks.

 One thing we take more serious than football in New York City is our food, and The 50 Yard Lounge did not disappoint. A gang of high profile New York City chefs including Michael White, Marc Fiagone, Bill Telepan were serving up special dishes for football and food fanatics alike. Also a few live cooking demonstrations from chef and retired NFL players. I got to check out the 50 Yard Lounge on Saturday which where theme menu was Classic American. All broken up into four quarters. Each quarter a group of chef's would serve up of good eats starting with breakfast in the morning all the way midnight burger bash. Here's a recap from Saturday's festivities.

Chef David Santos of Louro: Portuguese Breakfast Poutine

Esposito Sausage: Breakfast sausage & chicken maple sausage served with warm maple syrup

Katz's Deli: Pastrami sandwiches

Pat Lafrieda: Filet Mignon sandwich
Delicatessen: Pan Roasted Chicken thigh sandwich with olive oil pesto, sweet pepper aioli and burrate cheese

 Pat Lafrieda and NFL legend Matt Light doing a live butchering demonstration. 


The 50 Yard Lounge

Nothing fascinates me more than a chef that cooks outside of his cultural backgrounds. The Alex Stupaks and Andy Rickers is what makes the ...

Nothing fascinates me more than a chef that cooks outside of his cultural backgrounds. The Alex Stupaks and Andy Rickers is what makes the New York food scene so interesting. One person in particular that happened to catch my eye was Ivan "Ramen" Orkin. I learned about Ivan after a 2 day eating/The Mind of a Chef marathon. A Jew with not one, but two highly popular Ramen shops in Tokyo. There are three things the Japanese take seriously, sushi, ramen, and bukkake porno movies. 

Ivan was to open up shop on the lower east side but somehow ended up in the new Gotham market located on the West Bumblefuck side of Manhattan 11th Ave & 45th. Slurp shop has a fast casual concept, you place your order at the cash register, wait for your name to be called, and poach your own seat. Here's what I ordered:

Tokyo Shio Ramen ($13): Sea salt, dashi + chicken broth, pork chashu, rye noodle - a really flavorful ramen broth, but a hint more towards the salty side. The noodles had a nice dense, al dente texture to them - maybe the best I've had to date. But that doesn't chalk one up for slurp shop because I hear the noodles come from Sun Noodle.

Roasted Garlic Mazemen ($13): Nori, dashi + chicken broth, pork chashu, rye noodle + egg ($2): You would think at the price point for a bowl of soup, the egg would be included. The broth was thick and extra garlicky. Which was cool the first few bites, but after that it started to become too much. This felt more like a noodle dish than an actual soup. 

After everything I've read about this guy, I figured I would be raving about this place for months - but at best the Ramen was decent, though not decent enough for another 40 minute subway ride and a 20 minute walk to the Twilight Zone section of Manhattan.

Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop 
600 11th Avenue - New York, NY 10036

I've had a bug up my ass for a local red sauce joint called Randazzo's for the past ten or twelve years. I'm not really sure a...

I've had a bug up my ass for a local red sauce joint called Randazzo's for the past ten or twelve years. I'm not really sure as to who, what, where, when, or why, but this place just rubbed me the wrong way. Anytime the name of Randazzo's would come up, people would praise and smile, while I snickered and call it names that Webster's Dictionary has not yet defined.  

One person in particular that would praise the food at Randazzos is a good friend of mine who also doubles as my proofreader. He would go on and on about how great their food is, how unique in flavor their red sauce is, and that I am a complete asshole for not liking the place. So I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone. I would take my friend to Randazzo's for dinner to show my gratitude for thoroughly reading through my awful grammar and spelling mistakes, while seeing exactly why I stayed away for so long and then writing about it. 

Randazzos started out as a small clam shack located along Sheepshead Bay on Emmons Avenue in the early 1940's. In the 1980's the small clam shack was transformed into a full blown restaurant and would serve up fish dishes in their signature red sauce. As I walked into the space it felt like déjà vuAfter being heavily affected by Hurricane Sandy, the place appeared to be untouched. It was exactly how I remembered it. A no frills design, with a long counter that overlooked the fry station. A large room with black tables and red and white stripped paper place mats with pictures of regional areas in Italy. We grabbed a seat at a table and started to scan the the menu. This is what we ordered: 

 Seafood Fra Diavolo ($23.95): Shrimp, clams, and mussels in a spicy house red sauce, served atop a bed of pasta. Not to sound like a broken record, but this dish was fucking good.

Fried Calamari ($13.95): A portion the size of some food writers egos had hit our table. Plump rings of perfectly battered squid, deep fried to a textbook definition. Served with Randazzo's signature red sauce - the culprit. Now a lot older and somewhat wiser, I understand why this sauce is raved about among the Brooklyn natives. It has this certain taste that you really don't get with other housemade red sauces. I had a hard time deconstructing the actual flavors in the sauce because there was too much going on, oh and I was also to busy stuffing my face with it.

Shrimp in Medium Sauce ($12.95): Doused in flour, fried for 3 minutes, and served with a piece of bread that has an almost stale consistency, topped with the house made read sauce. This is actually one dish I've always liked, not really for the shrimp but for the bread. As the sauce sets into the bread it gives it a little sogginess. When eaten, you have the texture and consistency of both crunchy and soggy. It's a weird combination that makes for a "you have to eat it to understand it" type of dish.
I have to confess, I am a fucking moron. I spent the last ten years or more neglecting one of the originators of Brooklyn red sauce joints out of stupidity and stubbornness. Luckily my eyes have been opened. If you will excuse me, I have ten plus years of eating at Randazzo's to do. 

Randazzo's Clam Bar 
2017 Emmons Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235

I have suffered many disappointments in my life. Like the time I didn’t make the Harlem Globetrotters, and when I lost my collection of pota...

I have suffered many disappointments in my life. Like the time I didn’t make the Harlem Globetrotters, and when I lost my collection of potato chips that resembled movie stars from the 80’s. My most recent disappointment came from Dale Talde and his latest project Pork Slope. After a panty dropping meal at Talde, I was excited to see what he was going to do with everyday bar food. I like nachos, I like pulled pork, I like tater tots, how could I lose? What I don't like is waiting hours on end for a table, so I waited almost a year for all the culinary hypebeasts and Yelpers to find another craze to follow.

Pork Slope is supposed to simulate a honky-tonk or a dive bar. Funny, I don't ever remember seeing any baby strollers in any of those places... welcome to the new Brooklyn. We grabbed a seat closest to the front of the restaurant, and as I looked around I noticed that the place was half empty on a Saturday night. Was I missing something? As I looked around I noticed the bar's impressive selection of whiskeys including a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle and a selection of more than twenty beers on tap. My friend and I took a quick skim through the menu and this is what we got.

 Nachos ($8/$11): You have an option for a small or large size. Tortilla chips topped with chili, jalapenos, cheddar, tomatoes, onions. Crowned the best nacho’s in NYC, and I could see why. The chips were super fresh and had a nice crispy, toasty warmth to them. I could eat these all day and all night.

Pulled Pork Sandwich ($13): BBQ sauce, pickles, sesame potato roll. The sandwich was the most pedestrian piece of pork I've eaten in a while. Not really juicy, not really messy, barely any flavor. You would think a place with the word "pork" in it would have the pulled pork sandwich game on lock. 
photo 2(9)
Brisket Sandwich ($14): BBQ sauce, pickles, Texas toast. You call this Brisket? Now, don't let the picture fool you, this monstrosity of a sandwich tasted like an old catcher’s mitt sitting out in the desert sun. The meat was so dry that I had to drink water as I chewed on the sandwich. The Texas toast was hard as a rock, I was going to keep a slice with me just in case any Park Slope parents got out of hand.

photo 3(10)

Tater Tots ($5):  These were actually good. Really crispy in texture, not overly greasy, and with right amount of salt to give it a little flavor.


The food at Pork Slope was really unimpressive. One thing Pork Slope got right was their extremely bad service. My friend and I waited well over 30 minutes for our nachos in a half empty restaurant. After our Nacho's finally hit the table, so did our sandwiches two minutes later. No apologizes, no “let me take something off your bill,” nothing. Where’s the hospitality? I can make a pulled pork sandwich and nachos in the comfort of my own home in boxers and bumping Action Bronson. I go out to eat because I am looking to enjoy myself and not have to constantly wonder “where the fuck are my nachos?"

Pork Slope
247 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215